REVIEW: Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Title: Spin The Dawn
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release date: June 26th, 2019
Page count: 392
Genre: Fantasy


Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal Messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this imposible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she could ever have imagined.


This book has been on my TBR for quite a while, but I didn’t decided to read until this month when coincidentially became the perfect choice for one of the Magical Readathon prompts. I didn’t quite know what to expect of a book that promised to be the mix between Mulan and Project Runway. I mean… tailoring? On a fantasy book? No way. However, this book proved to me that everything is possible if you know how to pull it off.
Spin the Dawn tells the story of young tailor Maia Tamarin, who lived with her brothers and father (Baba) until war came to A’ladan, taking her brothers from her, leaving her dad depressed and unable to sew anymore. When the emperor seeks the tailoring services of Maia’s dad, she decides to go in his place as her brother Keton. And so it begins an adventure for her, trying to make the imposible with needle and thread.

The night was dark and starless, but inside my little room, I’d spun a world of light.

This is a very short book for a fantasy (little less than four-hundred pages) but so much happens in these pages, you’d be surprised. And the best is that it doesn’t seemed rushed: there’s a contest, a quest and even more, but the characters still have the chance to develop greatly, as well as the plot and the worldbuilding.
Spin the Dawn has a very interesting and unique world. I enjoyed the author’s descriptions of the different places of the palace, the caves and castles. The whole time I felt as if I was watching an historical fantasy movie set in Asia. Elizabeth Lim built a magical world with legends, myths, demons and curses, and a very special bond between magic and tailoring that left me amazed. The tale of Amana’s dresses was by far my favorite, and I loved that the bigger part of the book focused around that.

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And I’ll have you. The sun and the moon only see each other one day out of the entire year. Even if it’s an hour or a day –I’d rather be with you for that time than not at all.

Now, when it comes to the characters, I loved most of them. They’re well written and the development through the book was excellent. Specially Maia, we get to see such strength and growth in her and I really admired how she’s willing to do whatever it takes for her loved ones, she’s a very relatable character. Her relationship with Edan was amazing to read, though he came off a bit too closed off, which I think will change in book two as we get to know him and his past better. His background story was quite original and totally unexpected for me.
The secondary characters were no different. I liked them as well, I enjoyed Maia’s memories of her brothers and everything she told about growing up with them. The villains in this story seem realistic and I fear for what they’ll do in book two. The secondary character that stood out the most for me was Lady Sarnai, because even if she’s “bad” and definitely the most rude character you’ll encounter, I think she’s a very complex character hiding some very heavy stuff so I couldn’t hate her entirely. I can’t wait to see if she’ll be in the sequel, and what her storyline will be like.
In conclusion, this book was a very positive surprise for me. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did (partly because I haven’t heard many opinions on it), but this is definitely one of my best reads of this year. You have no idea how much i’m anticipating this sequel.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you read or are planning to read Spin The Dawn? Let me know in the comments!

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42 thoughts on “REVIEW: Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim”

  1. Great review!
    I’m reading this book right now and I am enjoying it a lot. I’ve not seen much about this book since it came out, so I really enjoyed reading your review

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book is on my TBR/wishlist! I was also thrown off by the “Project Runway” comparison, but hearing that it was a 5 star read for you means I’ll definitely make it more of a priority!


  3. Great review Cielo! I’ve had this one on my TBR for a long time, but I was sceptical and wasn’t really wanting to pick it up because the blurb wasn’t enticing me enough, it was definitely a cover-add, but now that I’ve read your review, I’m going to push it up the top of my pile because it sounds like I’m going to adore it! Thank you for sharing hun! I love your reviews so much, you always have the greatest recommendations. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everyone who has read this book has loved it. And it makes me feel so bad that I still haven’t picked it up. Great review tho. It gives me more FOMO. 😂


  5. I loved Spin the Dawn, and I’m so happy to hear you did too! If you liked Maia’s character development in this book, you’ll definitely love it in the sequel. I won’t spoil anything, but she goes through a lot of internal struggle that is really interesting to read.

    Wonderful review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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